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Brief Published: 15 Sep 2015

GapKids x Ellen Degeneres: Gender-Neutral Fashion

American TV show host and comedy personality Ellen Degeneres has collaborated with US retailer Gap on a kids’ range of clothing for girls that confronts prescriptive gender roles and celebrates individualism and authenticity.

The GapKids x ED collection is aimed at girls “whether they skateboard or dance, wear dresses or jeans, build forts or paint rainbows, or everything in between”. It features more gender-neutral colours and tomboy-inspired pieces such as shorts and muscle vests emblazoned with powerful symbols such as the lightning bolt, and messages such as “And though she be but little, she is fierce!”

The extending spectrum of identity and gender in retail, which Stylus previously explored in Fashion & Beauty: Liberating Gender, is now touching the kidswear market. In August this year, US retailer Target removed gender-based signage in its stores in a bid to quash gender stereotypes in departments such as toys and bedding.

Likewise, Acne’s A/W 15-16 campaign celebrates discovering fashion and self-expression in disruptive ways, at any age. The Swedish brand’s creative director Jonny Johansson cast his 11-year-old son Frasse to model womenswear in the advert.

The revolt against strict gender codes is also detailed in our S/S 17 Design Direction Riot. For more on fluid gender and identity ideals hitting the mainstream, see You Do You: Gender-Fluid Fashion, & Other Stories’ Transgender E-Comms, Clean & Clear Taps Transgender Teen, and Redken’s Transgender Beauty.